Singapore to have more elderly-friendly transport facilities: Josephine Teo

There will soon be a comprehensive plan that looks into making public transport facilities more elderly-friendly. This includes possibly having more seats at bus stops and train stations or their sheltered walkways nearby, having more anti-slip floor
There will soon be a comprehensive plan that looks into making public transport facilities more elderly-friendly. This includes possibly having more seats at bus stops and train stations or their sheltered walkways nearby, having more anti-slip flooring, and more toilets in bus interchanges and MRT stations. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - There will soon be a comprehensive plan that looks into making public transport facilities more elderly-friendly.

This includes possibly having more seats at bus stops and train stations or their sheltered walkways nearby, having more anti-slip flooring, and more toilets in bus interchanges and MRT stations.

More details are likely to be announced in the Committee of Supply debate next year, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo in an interview with Lianhe Zaobao on Saturday.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been having focus group discussions with the elderly, to better understand the common challenges they face when using public transport, and the improvements they hope to see.

Authorities have been improving the accessibility of transport facilities. More overhead bridges are being retrofitted with lifts.

In May this year, LTA also announced plans to add more than 200km of sheltered walkways, which amounted to 46km then, to the public transport network by 2018.

This means commuters will have sheltered walkways within a 400m radius of their nearest MRT station.

"Although 200m is not a very long distance, when you are old and if your legs are weak, it can be quite tiring," Mrs Teo told the Chinese daily.

"So someone suggested building some facilities where the elderly can rest at the sides of the covered walkways... It can be done."

Retiree David Kwok had another suggestion. "Many elderly do not have smartphones with mobile apps that give the bus arrival times. It'd be good if more bus stops have the electronic signs showing when the buses will arrive," said the 63-year-old.